The TUF 28 TUFtermath: Episode 1

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 15: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand celebrates his TKO victory over Jacare Souza of Brazil in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Sprint Center on April 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The TUF 28 TUFtermath

It feels like The Ultimate Fighter Season 27 just ended, but here we are, back for TUF 28! Coaches Kelvin Gastelum and UFC Middleweight Champion Rob Whittaker selected their teams of male heavyweights and female featherweights, The heaviest hitters of their respective sexes are all gunning for a UFC contract, and we’ll meet the contenders this episode!

The Big Three

#1) EvaluationsCoaches Gastelum and Whittaker each took different approaches, with Kelvin starting off with the featherweights and Robert with the heavyweights. Kelvin Gastelum ran each group through stations, while Rob Whittaker oversaw shadowboxing followed by grappling. Whittaker’s examinations may have been a little harder on the competitors, as heavyweight Justin Frazier was gassing out during his time with Gastelum.

#2) The Teams – Kelvin Gastelum won the traditional coin toss, and opted to pick the first fight. This left Robert Whittaker to take first pick of fighters. Team Whittaker consisted of Anderson da Silva, Julija Stoliarenko, Juan Francisco Espino Diepa, Leah Letson, Michel Batista, Larissa Pacheco, Przemyslaw Mysiala, and Katharina Lehner. Team Gastelum was made up of Ben Sosoli, Macy Chiasson, Maurice Greene, Pannie Kianzad, Josh Parisian, Bea Malecki, and Justin Frazier.

#3) The Sympathetic Figure Emerges: While nothing vastly interesting happened during the training sessions, one little thing that happened in the house stood out. Maurice Green’s fiancee’ and kids sent him to the house with a care package full of loving reminders. The one that was shown was a customized pillow case featuring a design and message from his children. On top of this, during his “Getting to know you” segment, Greene also revealed that he loves to crochet. How can you not root for a guy like that?

The Stock Report

Stock Up: Maurice Greene. Beyond proving himself likeable, including an aside about how he works hard in the gym to enjoy his beer, Maurice Greene showed he can get it done in the cage. He earned early praise from Kelvin Gastelum as being quite coachable, knows how to work with his height, and showed immense power early on.

The Fight

Round 1 saw Przemyslaw Mysiala and Maurice Greene saw Greene take control with an early clinch against the fence. Mysiala was able to break, but that put the shorter man on the receiving end of stiff jabs from the much taller Greene. After about 90 seconds, Mysiala tried for a takedown, only to end up on the bottom. While he was able to regain his footing, any chance of a comeback wasn’t to be. At around the 2:15 mark, Greene rocked Mysiala and began a striking onslaught that would end at 2:49 with the Polish fighter slumped down against the mat. Maurice Greene wins the fight via Round 1 KO, moving on to the next round.

Next week, Kelvin Gastelum sends Invicta FC vet Pannie “Banzai” Kianzad out to do battle with Team Whittaker’s Katharina Lehner in the first preliminary featherweight bout. Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for the next TUF 28 TUFtermath!

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